Tennis players discuss prematch eating habits

Junior Julian Bley delivers a serve in Baylor’s match against Stanford on March 22. The Bears won, 5-2. Bley said before every match, he likes to eat as much as possible and load up on pasta.
Nick Berryman | Lariat Photographer

By Will Potter

Food to an athlete is essentially the fuel necessary for peak performance.

When it comes to the Baylor men’s tennis team, food is vital to performing at the highest level and quickly recovering. The routine is different for many athletes but the goal is the same —­ load up on food to provide the body with enough energy to last the body through a possibly grueling three-hour marathon match.

“If we have an afternoon match, I typically like to start off early in the morning by eating cereal and then egg whites with a muffin or two,” junior Julian Bley said. “I will add some fruit depending on how tired I am and wash it all down with a V8 fusion.”

The emphasis on eating as much food as possible during the day is obvious because once athletes run out of energy, they are not going to be able to compete on the court.

“I typically try to eat as much as I possibly can on a game day,” Bley said. “I will eat a snack between classes of either a granola bar or fruit, and then right before the match begins, I will load up on some good pasta with some meat for my protein.”

While there are many ways to fuel up for a big match, eating the right kinds of foods before the match is a very important aspect in the preparation of each individual player.

“I really like to eat a lot of proteins on the day of a match,” senior Sergio Ramirez said. “A pasta with a lot of protein is key to playing the best tennis and feeling the best on the court. Pasta, beef and chicken are my favorite foods to eat on game day. I try to keep my routine similar every day.”

While there is a heavy emphasis on healthy food, the players were not shy about revealing their guilty food pleasures on the weekends or after a match.

“A day or two after a match I love to go and get myself a big burger,” Bley said. “I don’t do it often, but once a week I will hit up Whataburger and indulge.”

While Bley indulges in his weekly burger binge, Ramirez admitted that he and his roommate and fellow teammate, sophomore Roberto Maytin, love to eat all they can eat.

“We love to hit up A 1 Buffet and dominate some food from there,” Ramirez said. “You pay 10 bucks and you can eat pounds of food. It is a good way to reward ourselves for our healthy eating habits all week.”